Kreczi, Fanny

Vulnerabilities in the Eastern Pamirs

Berlin Geographical Papers, Band 39

The present study is concerned with sustainable livelihoods and the effects of development cooperation with regard to their improvement and optimization in the Eastern Pamirs. In order to present the complexity of poverty and the influence that the development cooperation bears on sustainable livelihoods in the region, the author deals with the following questions:

  • How does the complexity of poverty present itself in the local context of the high mountains in the southern countries?
  • What is the potential contribution of international organisations with respect to an improvement of sustainable livelihoods?

Spies, Michael

Deconstructing Flood Risks
A Livelihood and Vulnerability Analysis in Jakarta, Indonesia

Berlin Geographical Papers, Band 40

“Flooding is the least of the problems, it is a usual thing.”

“We are not afraid of floods, we are used to them.”

— Interviewees in East Jakarta, December 2010

Statements like the above were given by several residents in neighbourhoods of Jakarta that are often described as being “most vulnerable” to flood hazards. (...) Is it possible that such disasters are just a minor issue for the supposedly most affected? Or are the above statements the result of subconsciously repressed disaster memories, or some kind of fatalism?

In Jakarta, several community-based projects on flood risk reduction emerged in recent years. These projects can be interpreted as responses to the growing emphasis on bottomup, community-based approaches in the international research and policy community on disaster risk reduction. Organisations such as MerciCorps and UNESCO implemented projects that aim to strengthen local capacities of flood risk reduction in Jakarta’s most affected neighbourhoods. Typical project measures are awareness campaigns on solid waste issues, the strengthening of local disaster management and small-scale, physical measures of flood mitigation.

However, considering the introductory quotes above, the legitimacy of these projects — or at least of its labelling as “community-based” and “bottom-up” — comes into question. If flooding is not seen as a problem in Jakarta’s most affected neighbourhoods, these projects appear to miss the point. In other geographical contexts, scholars criticised that humanitarian organisations look through a “disaster lens” in their community assessments and tend to neglect local risk priorities when implementing community-based projects.

Thus, the aim of this paper is to find out what is behind the apparently low priority of flood risk for the supposedly most affected people — an underrated issue in the research literature on flood or disaster risk reduction. The overall research question is therefore: Is flooding a minor problem for the most affected households in Jakarta?

Enzner, Martin

Carpenters of Chiniot, Pakistan
The Social Economy of Woodcraft and Furniture Production

Berlin Geographical Papers, Band 41

The combination of the artisanal heritage, the existence of a contemporary large-scaled carpentry and woodcraft cluster and the phenomenon of carpentry being the prevalent occupation in the city, makes Chiniot an interesting case for an historical comparison of the socio-economic conditions of carpenters in society. Additionally, the topic of caste in a Muslim country like Pakistan is deserving of attention. The basic research questions underlying this paper are:
• Which economic processes influenced the carpenters’ lives during the British period?
• How was the socio-economic condition of Chinioti (respectively Punjabi) carpenters
constituted in the past, with emphasis on their caste identity during the British colonial period?
• What are the main characteristics of furniture production and marketing in Chiniot today? What implications does the production system have for the local carpenters
and their income perspectives?
• How is the socio-economic condition of Chinioti carpenters constituted today?
• Which defining features of the caste society were subject to change and what does it
mean for carpenters?
This paper is an attempt to better understand the lives of the “unknown carpenters” in the past as well as in the present. It is a sociogeographic analysis of Chinioti carpenters embedded in an analysis of the current nature of the local furniture cluster which frames their livelihoods.

Kreutzmann, Hermann (Hrsg.)

Preservation of built environment and its impact on community development in Gilgit-Baltistan

Berlin Geographical Papers, Band 42

The study presented here is the outcome of a mission on behalf of the Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan to Gilgit-Baltistan in September 2009. The linkages between cultural preservation and the restoration of historical monuments and their impact on regional economies, skill development and tourism were to be analysed by two independent researchers: Hermann Kreutzmann and Jolyon Leslie.

Dörre, Andrei, Schütte, Stefan (Hrsg.)

Utilization and Management of Natural Resources in Kyrgyzstan

Berlin Geographical Papers, Band 43

The training of students in the Department of Geography at the Centre for Development Studies (ZELF) of the Freie Universität Berlin includes the scientific preoccupation with theories of development, with social inequalities at multiple scales reaching from global to local arenas, and with questions of international development policies and practices aimed to ensure basic needs and sustainable development. (...) Following this approach, the project in 2013 was dedicated to specific issues of Kyrgyzstan’s development after 1991. The rural population of the post-socialist society depends to a great extent on the utilisation of natural resources, and the project focused primarily on the use and the management of natural resources that occur in the context of development efforts of governmental and non-governmental institutions.

Otter, Felix

Die Revitalisierung von Vāstuvidyā im kolonialen und nachkolonialen Indien

Vāstuvidyā, die altindische esoterische Lehre vom Hausbau, ist seit der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts Gegenstand verschiedener Wiederbelebungsversuche gewesen. Dieses Buch untersucht diese Bestrebungen im Kontext ideologischer und geistesgeschichtlicher Entwicklungen mit den Methoden der Textanalyse. Das Verhältnis der revitalisierten Version(en) von Vāstuvidyā zu den vorkolonialen vāstuśāstras, ebenso die Relevanz der Apologetik der einheimischen Wissenschaften für die Revitalisierung von Vāstuvidyā sowie die Diskursstrategien, die im revitalistischen Vāstu-Schrifttum zur Anwendung kommen, bilden die zentralen Themen des Buches.


Schütte, Stefan, Kreutzmann, Hermann (Hrsg.)

Making a living in Varanasi
Social place and socio-economic space

Berlin Geographical Papers, Band 44

The three-semester long project was implemented in Varanasi in close cooperation with Prof. Rana PB Singh and his colleagues and students from the Department of Geography at Banaras Hindu University and with the help of a number of established contacts in the city. We could form nine mixed groups of people with local knowledge and orientation that paired with a couple of students each from the Berlin team. The thematic focus was directed on ‘Making a living in Varanasi – social place and socio-economic space’. Beyond Varanasi’s attraction as a holy pilgrimage destination and place for worship we primarily looked at professions and locations that provide opportunities for making a meagre living by hard work. Consequently, certain trades and professions, groups and communities, individuals and office-bearers who kindly allowed us to observe, follow and sit with them during their working hours and to visit them at home contributed to form a selective mosaic of living conditions in Varanasi. All nine contributions in this volume are based on the findings from these joint-endeavours that were regularly discussed and re-adjusted during our bilateral discussions and plenary meetings at night in our temporary home in Varanasi. During a follow-up seminar back in Berlin the outcomes and results were again refined and processed to such a state that we could prepare the manuscripts in a manner that they fulfilled the formal requirements which a scientific journal would demand for.

Uprety, Hannah

Between Exploitation and Economic Opportunity?
Identities of Male Nepalese Labor Migrants in the Gulf Region

Geographien Südasiens, Band 4

Im Vorfeld der näher rückenden FIFA-Weltmeisterschaft in Katar wächst das mediale Interesse an der großen Rolle, die ausländische Arbeitskräfte für das rasante Wachstum der Golfstaaten-Metropolen spielen, und an den oft problematischen Arbeits- und Lebensbedingungen dieser Menschen. Deutlich weniger Aufmerksamkeit gilt jedoch dem ‚anderen Ende‘ dieser Migrationsprozesse, nämlich den Kontexten, aus denen diese Arbeiter kommen und in die sie später zurückkehren. Einer dieser Kontexte liegt in Nepal, wo jährlich hunderttausende Migranten das Land auf der Suche nach sogenannter niedrigqualifizierter Arbeit verlassen. Angesichts der vergleichsweise kleinen Bevölkerung und schwachen Wirtschaft Nepals haben diese Praktiken einen enormen Einfluss auf das Land – sowohl finanziell als auch hinsichtlich der sozialen und kulturellen Transformationen, die mit ihnen einhergehen. Die vorliegende Arbeit untersucht, wie sich diese meist männlichen Migranten und ihre Familien in transnationale Formen der Lebensführung einfinden und wie ihre Identitäten sich entlang dieses Prozesses verändern. Auf der Grundlage qualitativer empirischer Forschung aus dem Jahr 2012 liegt dabei ein besonderer Schwerpunkt auf der gesellschaftlichen (Neu-)Verhandlung von Beziehungen und Intimität im transnationalen Familienleben sowie der oft konfliktbeladenen und fragmentierten Aushandlung migrantischer Subjektivitäten. Auf diese Weise bietet die Arbeit nicht nur Einblicke in eine spezifische nepalesische Praxis, sondern reiht sich ein in eine zunehmend erstarkende kritische Migrationsforschung.


Poerting, Julia, Keck, Markus (Hrsg.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
5. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 23./24. Januar 2015, Göttingen

Geographien Südasiens, Band 3

Extended Abstracts der 5. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 23./24. Januar 2015, Göttingen.


Poerting, Julia, Lennartz, Thomas (Hrsg.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
4. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 24./25. Januar 2014, Freiburg

Geographien Südasiens, Band 2

Extended Abstracts der 4. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 24./25. Januar 2014, Freiburg.


Lennartz, Thomas, Butsch, Carsten, Franz, Martin, Kroll, Mareike (Hrsg.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
3. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 25./26. Januar 2013, Heidelberg

Geographien Südasiens, Band 1

Extended Abstracts der 3. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 25./26. Januar 2013, Heidelberg.